Tag Archive: the cross


love as the highest value?love value [blog]

in the non-church world i think many would agree that this could be the highest value to pursue.  i have a working theory that in the world, in america specifically, we care more about money than we care about anything else; but that’s another conversation.

so love, that makes me feel all warm inside, & YES!! we should pursue love above all else.

but in the church…as followers of Christ…is this the highest value?

shouldn’t the pursuit of Christ be the highest value?

what about worship to God?

how about correct doctrine & theology, that’s certainly most important?

the list could continue for a while…

while it’s true that sound doctrine & theology are important,

and worship of God & all that He is matters greatly,

and we should always find ourselves in pursuit of Jesus Christ in all we do.

if we simply look at the life of Jesus [dangerous] we see that all He does is motivated by & through love.

the woman at the well…

zacchaeus’ redemption…

His walk to the cross…

i think sometimes that we get concerned about making sure the “whole” story of God is told.  and when we focus on something like “love” aren’t we then leaving out some important details about what God wants from your life & mine?

i think that can happen.  which is why it’s so important that the church you’re a part of is teaching the totality of God’s word.  but a beginning point, a motivating factor & daily, life-long pursuit is the love of God & how that impacts the world we live in.

i’m a firm believer that when we, no matter the station of life we’re in, pursue truth we end up at the feet of Jesus.

if we’re looking for a way to justify our lifestyle, we’re not seeking truth.

if we’re trying to find a way to do something that stands in direct opposition to God’s word, we’re not seeking truth.

 

if anything gets in front of our ability to love, we’ve begun the descent into a life, a church, without Jesus at the center.  we’ve decided that our preferences are of greater value than the people Jesus loves…the people that we’re supposed to love.

so love as the highest value, pursue it!

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recently i’ve been drawn back to something that was handed me several months ago.  it was a lengthy excerpt from an article posted on a web site.  the article, in great length, draws out the idea that sin isn’t a problem for the experienced/veteran Christian.  sin is something that someone willfully does that’s in violation of God’s laws.  willfully being the key there.  the article then talks about the “mistakes or errors” of the Christian that “are a result of human weakness, faulty judgement…”

the problem with  this approach is huge!

if it’s true that when once we’re a Christian, we’ve given our lives over to Christ, that we no longer sin, one domino simply knocks another.

if we don’t sin, we simply make mistakes or stumble, when does confession enter the family?  of course other than the heathen, outright sinner who has not given his/her life to God?  when do we confess?

if we don’t sin how does humility become a part of the body?

if we all we do is stumble does mercy & grace become irrelevant to the already saved?

does then the attitude of judgementalism &  a lack of forgiveness become epic?

what happens to pauls words in romans 7:14-25?  “what i want to do i don’t do…i know that nothing good lives in me…”

those are present tense verbs, that’s the here & now.

what about the very big & toxic sin of pride becoming so large that we can’t see anything except our own greatness – false as it is?!

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each day, through the YouVersion of the bible [availble on-line through a smart phone – brilliant tool!!] there’s a daily verse that pops up & today i was taken to ps.51:1 & was reminded to be aware of my sin/transgression.

so, can i be aware of myself enough to admit that i do, in fact sin?

do i belong to a community of Christ that engages all of scripture?  not just the parts that prop us up in the hopes of attaining something that we build on our own?

one of the problems that emerges is the gospel of salvation that ends up taking a back seat to this idea: “i don’t have to worry about sin once i’m saved.”  that kind of message has trouble all day long!

…to the cross

do our lives point to the cross, or something else?

this sunday is easter, & it’s easy to talk about & prompt people to live in such a way that our lives reflect the cross of Christ.  easy because this is the one day that churches all over will point to the cross with greater intention & purpose.  and the rest of the year there can be a temptation to focus on other things throughout the year…things that are good & necessary for our lives, but they’re not the cross.

the question that ought to plague our mind this year is do we live out this cross-focus on a daily basis?

do our lives, in the way we live, give to the poor, participate in church, do our jobs, live, breathe & have our  being?  i want to make sure that all i do can, somehow, reflect the cross of Christ.

am i sacrificing, on a daily basis my wants/needs/desires/hopes/dreams/plans for the things that Christ wants through this life He has given?

the answer, many times, is NO!  i’m not living that way.  so my world ends up getting smaller & more confined; because it’s about me.  i can get so consumed with

my stuff, my pleasure, my acquisitions, my vacations, my…

and in this life, i become convinced, is about me.  and we forget that Jesus lived a life that  is just the opposite.

francis chan has a great quote, ” we are glad that Jesus went to the cross, suffered for us, died for our sins .  but we would never consider doing that.  we want to have as much fun while we’re here.  we think He’s a great man, just not a good role model.”

we acknowledge that what Jesus did was necessary & we’re grateful for it.  but we are not willing to admit that Jesus actually calls us to live that kind of life too.  in order to do that, make that kind of sacrifice, we have to be reminded of the cross daily. otherwise, that kind of living just doesn’t sound all that great.  “give up everything i have for someone else? i don’t think so.”

so be aware of the cross, turn to it often, run to it daily, allow it to affect your life.  don’t let it just be a piece of jewelry!